Georgia Deer News

Lake Oconee News
...When the pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock, the whitetail population was estimated at more than 24 million. The settlers quickly dropped their number because their food was considered a delicacy and by the middle of the 1800's their population had declined to about 12 million.  During a period in the late 1800's, their numbers were further depleted and nationwide only about 500,000 deer remained in the United States. The entire population of deer was almost completely wiped out in Georgia...

Archer deer season starts Sept. 10 September 2, 2016 Georgia, jacksonprogress-argus
... Hunters are allowed a season bag limit of 10 antlerless deer and two antlered deer. One of the two antlered deer must have a minimum of four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers...

     Last year, 132,641 archery hunters harvested more than 66,039 deer. Statewide, hunters can use archery equipment throughout the entire 2016-2017 deer season (ending Jan. 8, 2017).  “The early part of archery season occurs before mature bucks shift into their fall movement patterns,” said state deer program coordinator Charlie Killmaster.  “With their home range near its smallest at this time of year, hunters should concentrate on food sources closest to thick cover for the best chance at an early-season buck.” ...

Deer and turkey management on in-common habitat August 21, 2016 Georgia, The Albany Herald
... it has been well documented that prescribed fire with dormant and/or growing-season burns enhances the production of herbaceous forages and removes invasive and undesirable woody plants. This is especially important in pine plantations and mixed pine-hardwood landscapes. Deer and turkeys live at the ground layer, where burning is most effective...

Blythe Island, Finance committee denies request to thin deer numbers in Blythe Island Regional Park  August 10, 2016 Georgia, Brunswick News
... Park staff on the other hand have not had any problems with deer and have not received any complaints about deer from park guests... County Finance Committee unanimously recommended Tuesday that the Glynn County Commission deny a proposal to pay the U.S. Department of Agriculture to thin the deer population ...
     County to consider culling deer in Blythe Island Regional Park August 7, 2016 Georgia, Brunswick News
... USDA wildlife biologist Jonathan Smith, who conducted a study on the deer population, said there were not enough deer to warrant a reduction in the population. But county officials continue to receive complaints ... deer will be culled by the USDA ...

... This guide provides important information on season dates, bag limits, hunting licenses, wildlife management areas, quota hunts, youth opportunities ... download pdf

Drought hitting local farmers hard July 30, 2016 Georgia, Madison Journal Today
... “The deer are hungry, the foliage is not there in the woods for them so they’re out in the fields looking for food,” ... “Our current drought actually began in March when we had less than half of our normal rainfall,” Jenkins said. “Every month since has featured well below typical rainfall, averaging about one-half of normal...

2016-17 Georgia Hunting Seasons July 22, 2016, Georgia Outdoor News
... For the second consecutive Georgia hunting season, more than half the state will experience periods of buck-only hunting during firearms deer season ...  hunters complaining of seeing fewer deer in the woods...

Deer once almost extinct in Georgia, now thriving June 30, 2016 The Catoosa County News
... While Georgia boasts around 1.2 million deer now, by 1895 the number had dwindled to near zero. Because of land-clearing for farming, and overhunting, often with packs of dogs ... In 1927 a ranger named Arthur Woody set about correcting the situation. He traveled to North Carolina and secured five fawns — one male and four females ...

Deer and cat killed at Fort McAllister State Park - reward offered June 13, 2016 Georgia, Savannah Morning News
... Fort McAllister State Park is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the apprehension of the individual(s) responsible for killing of a young deer and the park’s mascot cat, GeeChee...

... Analysis of oxygen isotopes in fossil teeth from red deer near the Adriatic Sea suggest that they migrated seasonally, which may have driven the movements of the Paleolithic hunter-gatherers that ate them, according a study published June 8, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Suzanne Pilaar Birch from University of Georgia, USA, and colleagues...

This month, Ranger Nick spends time with the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) to learn what goes into improving habitats to attract and keep more deer. May 19, 2016 Georgia


Deer left injured in yard for hours dies April 16, 2016 Georgia, FOX 5 Atlanta
... The Georgia Department of Natural Resources told FOX 5 News the deer’s injuries were too severe and they were forced to put down the buck...

UGA research to decrease vehicle collisions with deer April 9, 2016 Georgia, Red and Black
... female deer were using the I-20 ROW to birth their fawns. At first this seemed like an odd place to birth and raise young, but previous research has shown that high traffic roadways may deter predators, such as bobcats and coyotes ...

Appling County meets concerning deer hunting with dogs April 6, 2016 Georgia, Baxley News-Banner
... Tillman discussed that he did not want any dogs on his property and addressed a letter he submitted to the commissioners sometime before the meeting... Bill Bowers recalled that in the late 1960s he remembered when the original vote was cast that did not allow dogs to run deer in Appling County ...

KP Adams, BP Murphy, MD Ross - Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2016
...  Thirty-seven states provided some data. Twenty of 32 states reported 5–1,332 breeding facilities holding >140,000 white-tailed deer; 20 of 29 states reported 1–150 shooting preserves holding >25,000 white-tailed deer. Captive white-tailed deer were classified as wildlife in 12 of 22 states (55%), livestock in 8 states (36%), and game animals in 2 states (9%). Only 5 of 21 states (24%) had minimum acreage requirements for breeding facilities, but 13 of 20 states (65%) did for shooting preserves. Four of 16 states (25%) had a minimum release time before deer could be shot in a preserve. Six of 21 states (29%) had stocking density requirements ...

... One of the reasons the deer congregate in open areas is that they are not well suited for a forest environment.  “They are an edge species,” Gallagher said. “You see them along the edge of the woods.” ...  there aren’t as many deer at Berry as people imagine ...

Georgia DNR unveils new app for hunters, fishermen March 21, 2016 Rome News-Tribune
...  has geocaching tools to locate wildlife management areas ...  allows hunters to register their harvest of a turkey, bear and deer ...

Coyote diets in a longleaf pine ecosystem Georgia, MJ Cherry, KL Turner, MB Howze, BS Cohen… - Wildlife Biology, 2016
... Adult white-tailed deer were consumed during every month and was not limited to the pulse of carrion availability from hunter-harvested animals, suggesting the use of adult white-tailed deer may not be restricted to scavenging in this system. ... We offer evidence that coyote colonization may alter food web dynamics in longleaf pine ecosystems through depredation of white-tailed deer ...

Can burning trees be a sign of a good thing? Absolutely March 3, 2016 Georgia, Bryan County News
... The indigenous people of Georgia ... managed the forest with fire, for which the longleaf pine is particularly suited. The seeds of longleaf pine have to be exposed to fire before they will germinate. The Indians frequently burned the forest floor to keep down brush and encourage grasses, which improved forage for deer...

New for 2016 Turkery/Deer Harvest Record and Georgia Game Check March 2, 2016 GDNR News
     All turkey and deer hunters, including those under 16 years of age, landowners, honorary, lifetime, and sportsman license holders, are required to have a Harvest Record for the current season, EVEN if they are not required to purchase any license or a big game license, or their big game license has not expired. Additionally, all harvest must be reported within 72 hours through Georgia Game Check.

Numbers are down in harvest of bucks nationwide February 14, 2016 Georgia, The Augusta Chronicle
... Opportunities to harvest mature bucks continued to improve in most states during the 2014-15 season, but overall harvest numbers are declining, according to the Quality Deer Management Association’s 2016 Whitetail Report.

US Forest Service wants to thin north Georgia forest January 29, 2016 Georgia, Atlanta Journal Constitution
... "The deer population has declined pretty significantly over the past 20, 25 years. Ruffed grouse and other hunted species are becoming very rare," said Jim Wentworth, the district's wildlife biologist. "We can reverse that trend by taking a small part of this watershed and creating some of those young forest conditions." ...

... the UGA study won't focus solely on deer; it also will look at whether such factors as fire and soil moisture are putting stress on the island's plants and forests. He said the overall number of deer seems to have held steady since the issue first arose about five years ago...

Coyotes, deer limits and fee increases among annual GON survey topics January 7, 2016 Georgia, Athens Banner-Herald
... Each January, GON offers sportsmen the chance to voice opinions ... We haven’t had a fee increase since 2000. That’s when hunters and fishermen funded the Preservation 2000 land-acquisition program...

An 'unusual year' for weather, marine conditions January 6, 2016 Georgia, Savannah Morning News
... the Georgia deer season closes this coming weekend, and while no data is yet available as to harvest numbers this year, talk among several groups of hunters indicate the count may be down, that the movement of deer has been unusually slow during daylight hours  ...

Blame the weather on lack of deer for most hunters in 2015 December 25, 2015 Georgia, The Augusta Chronicle
... the deer have been sparse this season. It has to be the weather.
Statewide, November 2015 was one of the wettest, warmest Novembers ...

Deer rescue December 23, 2015 Georgia, SavannahNow 
... The doe's head and front two legs were already through the fence ... he was able to push the deer into backup mode. As soon as the deer figured out that reverse was the solution, she was out of there like a shot ...

...  with the help of a jack, the stuck and very startled deer was freed ... watch the video on their Facebook page

"Coyote Predation of Deer, Livestock and Pets" November 9, 2015 Georgia, Patch 
...  in Southwest Georgia on 2 sections of land. One section of 11,000 acres, 23 coyotes and 3 bobcats were trapped and on another 7,000 acres no trapping was done. The results were staggering. In the trapped area 2 out of every 3 does had fawns opposed to the un-trapped area where only 1 out of 28 does had fawns...  “if coyotes are not a problem on your hunting property they will be in a few years.” ...

Coyotes help manage deer populations, study finds October 29, 2015 Georgia, Times Free Press
...   skyrocketing influx of coyotes to the region in the last 40 years...  the deer population is stable after a period of more than 20 years when it was overabundant.  "If the coyote impact becomes greater, then certainly, in order to maintain our deer population at a sustainable level, we would have to reduce hunter harvests," ...

2015 Trophy Deer Forecast: Georgia October 21, 2015 Game & Fish
... Georgia has nine counties with antler restrictions meaning “antlered bucks may be taken only if they have a minimum of four antler points of 1-inch or longer on one side of the antlers.” ...

Firearms deer season opens with buck-only regs for many hunters October 16, 2015 Georgia, Athens Banner-Herald
... WRD cut the number of either-sex deer hunting days, and moved either-sex days away from opening weekend, in a number of Georgia counties in response to lower deer populations. Fawn survival rates are significantly lower than they used to be Georgia, primarily due to predation by coyotes...

Firearms Deer Hunting Season Opens Oct. 17  October 13, 2015 Georgia, GADNR News

State deer biologist gives his preview of the upcoming Georgia deer season. Deer archery season begins statewide on Sept. 12, 2015, primitive weapons begins statewide Oct. 10, 2015, and firearms season is Oct. 17, 2015-Jan. 10, 2016 statewide.


... Last year, more than 48,000 hunters participated in primitive weapons season, bringing in over 10,000 deer with black powder rifles... More than one million acres of public hunting land is available to hunters in Georgia, including more than 100 state-operated wildlife management areas... During the primitive weapons season, hunters may use archery equipment, muzzleloading shotguns (20 gauge and larger) and muzzleloading firearms (.44 caliber or larger)... The season bag limit is 10 antlerless deer and two antlered deer (one of the antlered deer must have at least four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers)...

Completely Online Hunter Education Courses Now Available October 2, 2015 Georgia,GADNR News
... the Georgia hunter education course is available completely online, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.  “This significant enhancement provides our customers with the opportunity to complete the hunter education course online,” says Walter Lane, hunter development program manager with the Wildlife Resources Division.  “We join 12 other states in allowing students to complete the course at THEIR convenience and completely online.” ...

Blythe Island, Deer population a growing problem on Blythe Island October 1, 2015 Georgia, Brunswick News
... The Glynn County Commission Thursday approved spending up to $2,000 to have the U.S. Department of Agriculture conduct a study to determine whether the island is overpopulated with deer... The deer have even gotten into his wife’s flower beds...

GA Drivers Be On The Lookout This Fall: Deer-Vehicle Collisions September 28, 2015 Georgia, GeorgiaWildLife.com
... Recently published in the Journal of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the study analyzed deer-vehicle collisions from 2005 to 2012 and then compared the timing of those wrecks with available conception data, deer movement information obtained from deer wearing GPS collars in Harris County and the old “rut map” from Georgia Outdoor News... The map can be found online and downloaded at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ website.   “Using Deer-vehicle Collisions to Map White-Tailed Deer Breeding Activity in Georgia” can be found online [PDF] ...

Georgia, news.uga.edu 
... Deer-vehicle collisions increase during "rutting season" because white-tailed deer move around a lot more looking for mates, according to James Stickles, lead researcher ... "Depending on your location in Georgia, peak rut may occur anywhere from October to December," ...

...  Georgia Department of Natural Resources wants to remind hunters lacing arrows with poison is illegal... his K-9 Drake ... trained to find and detect poisoned arrows for evidence...

Hunting season in full swing September 24, 2015 Georgia, Statesboro Herald
... Last year, 128,545 archery hunters harvested more than 64,695 deer ... a “season bag limit of 10 antlerless deer and two antlered deer.” One of the two antlered deer must have a minimum of four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers.  And during firearms season, deer of either sex may be taken with archery equipment at any time on private land ...
... trafficked in live white-tailed deer and sold illegal white-tailed deer hunts at a hunting preserve in Logan, Ohio. Chason was part-owner of that preserve and owned a property containing white-tail deer in Georgia...

Where does Georgia rank for vehicle-deer collisions? September 24, 2015 The Business Journal
... State Farm ranks Georgia 19th ...  1 in every 128 drivers....

Savannah, Georgia DNR investigating illegal deer hunt September 10, 2015 WJCL News 
... someone found the deer carcass on Monday in a waterway off of Rose Dhu Road. Even if the deer was hunted in season, Miller says the way it's body was left in the marsh was illegal and wasteful...
 
Strong nut crop should help Kentucky deer hunting season September 5, 2015 Georgia, Courier-Journal 
... Hunters account for $977 million in retail sales in Georgia each year with a $1.6 billion ripple effect and almost 24,000 jobs, DNR officials said...

Georgia Deer Forecast for 2015 September 2, 2015 Game & Fish
... 1972 to ... 2012... the deer herd has grown from 253,000 to 990,000, having peaked at 1,352,000 in 1998.  The total number of deer hunters was 220,900 in 1972, peaked at 335,600 in 1992 and has trended downward to 318,113 in 2012... The Blue Ridge Mountains contain about 15 to 20 deer per square mile (PSM), while the fertile Piedmont and Upper Coastal Plain regions have 25 to 30 deer PSM...

Rangers rescue deer trapped in cemetery fence August 14, 2015 Georgia, WSB Atlanta
... the fawns were likely siblings born this spring. He believes they may have gotten trapped early Wednesday morning while they were out with their mom ...

New Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations Guide Available Online and In Print August 5, 2015 GDNR
     The 2015-2016 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations Guide is available online and in print, announces the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. This guide provides important information on season dates, bag limits, hunting licenses, wildlife management areas, quota hunts, youth opportunities and much more. You may view, download and print the guide at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting/regulations . Pick up a printed copy at Wildlife Resources Division offices and license vendors throughout Georgia...

...  the Georgia Department of Natural Resources says it’s time to increase basic hunting and fishing license fees for operational purposes for the first time since 1981... . The new fee structure provides the basic hunting license for $15. To hunt big game, deer or bear for example, the fee goes up to $40 from $9 and that includes the right to hunt on one of the state-managed WMAs ...

Deer Harvest survey Results available July 15, 2015 Georgia, Examiner 
...  Since at least 1962, WRD has used scientifically valid, survey methodology to get estimates of not only deer harvest, but also harvest estimates of other game species. Harvest estimates are obtained by asking a random sample of approximately 2,500 licensed Georgia deer hunters ... [Total:  412,068 see summary]

Jekyll Island deer welcome news that they are now official July 14, 2015 Georgia, Macon Telegraph 
... The Jekyll Island Authority had been making noises about shooting the deer on the island ... backed off the plan temporarily, saying they have decided to do a study first. I don’t think they need a study to know that tourists come to Jekyll Island to see the deer and not members of the Jekyll Island Authority. That’s an ego-buster, I’m sure, but sometimes the truth hurts...

Georgia data: About 950,000 deer in 2015, down from 1 million deer in 2014 according to the estimate in the 2015-24 Deer Management Plan which calls for an increase in the herd size in the Blue Ridge Mountain region, a slight increase to a stable herd size in the Ridge & Valley region across the Piedmont and the Lower Coastal Plain, and a stable deer harvest across the Upper Coastal Plain.  An estimated at 900,000 to 1 million in 2011 to 2013. The 2005 Deer Management plan intentionally reduced the herd size. In 2013, hunters requested a shorter hunting season to support the deer population.  Coyote predation and changes in the timber industry that have impacted habitat are pushing deer numbers down. Reduced doe harvest began in 2013  and continued into 2015 with fewer hunting days in a number of areas to offset predation.  About 300,000 deer hunters.  More than 1 million acres of public hunting land. 
     At the beginning of the 19th century deer were hunted to near extinction, with a few local herds remaining.[History] The first restocking began in 1927.  By 1937, the herd was estimated at about 12,500, the result of unregulated hunting.  The bulk of the restocking was from 1948 to 1965 and continued into the early 1980's. Conservation efforts brought the population to about 220,000 by 1972, peaking at 1,400,000 in 1998 according to the management plan.  Another source puts the population peak around 2005 at 1.6 to 1.7 million. An estimated 1.3 million in 2001.  In the early 1980's, does accounted for only about a quarter of the harvest, an effort to boost the population.  Yearling bucks were the majority of the deer taken.  Since 2002 the state has focused on balanced demographics, with the doe harvest about 60 percent of the total through 2012. 

Poacher Hotline:  The public can reach the TIP hotline by dialing 1-800-241-4113, by dialing *DNR on a cell phone, or by sending an email to RangerHotline@dnr.state.ga.us   Those reporting should try to obtain the following information: the type of violation, a description of the violator, description of the violator’s vehicle, and the date, time and location of the violation.

Georgia DNR Wildlife News

Other useful links:
Amicalola Deer Park in Dawsonville, North Georgia 

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